Inhibition of Estrogen-Induced Activity by 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in the MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer and Other Cell Lines Transfected with Vitellogenin A2 Gene Promoter Constructs1 Academic Article uri icon


  • The antiestrogenic activity of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) was investigated in several cell lines using transient transfection assays and constructs containing 5'-regulatory sequences from the estrogen (E2)-responsive vitellogenin (Vit) A2 gene linked to the bacterial chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene. TCDD significantly inhibited CAT activity induced by E2 in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells transiently transfected with 5'-deletion plasmids containing the homologous promoter [(-821/+14)- and (-482/+14)-CAT] or the heterologous thymidine kinase (tk) promoter [(-821/-87)tk-, (-482/-87)tk-, (-397/-87)tk-, and (-331/-87)tk-CAT]. In parallel experiments using wild-type mouse Hepa 1c1c7 and human HeLa cells cotransfected with a human estrogen receptor expression plasmid, TCDD also inhibited E2-induced CAT activity. The role of the nuclear Ah receptor complex was confirmed by results of the following studies using MCF-7 or mouse Hepa 1c1c7 cells transiently transfected with E2-responsive Vit A2 gene 5'-promoter constructs: (i) for a series of Ah receptor ligands, there was a correlation between their antiestrogenic activity in MCF-7 cells and their rank order binding affinity for the Ah receptor; (ii) alpha-naphthoflavone, an Ah receptor antagonist, inhibited the antiestrogenic activity of TCDD in MCF-7 cells; and (iii) TCDD inhibited E2-induced CAT activity in Ah-responsive wild-type but not in Ah-nonresponsive class 2 mutant Hepa 1c1c7 cells. The antiestrogenic activity of TCDD was also observed in cells which transiently overexpressed the human estrogen receptor (ER), suggesting that the mechanism does not involve downregulation of the ER by TCDD.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Nodland, K. I., Wormke, M., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Nodland, KI||Wormke, M||Safe, S

publication date

  • February 1997